In 2019, Statista.com cited that the menswear market in the United States was valued at 114.1 billion U.S. dollars. It should be further noted that apparel and footwear products for men hold a relatively even split in this market. Frequently, it feels like this billion-dollar industry for men is often over looked, due to the constant promotion and high demands for women’s fashion. However, menswear is truly something that I appreciate because of the many different styles and characteristics that describe each brand. Some brands focus on street wear, while others strictly deal with edgy looks and outerwear.
SLOAN and BENNETT is a brand that truly encapsulates the silhouettes, sophistication, detail and style that makes them the menswear brand to know. This luxury menswear brand focuses on the specific details and thoughtfully refined fabric selections of men’s outerwear that make their pieces classic and timeless. Outerwear fashion has always been a love of mine. I feel as if outerwear truly completes and defines the overall look. SLOAN and BENNETT believes that “outerwear has remained a staple in a gentleman’s wardrobe.” The pieces that are showcased in this brand are enduring and exude the luxury experience and finishes that elevate the brand to compete with the some of the great fashion houses . The name of the brand SLOAN and BENNETT is derived from the cross streets of James Patrick Christopher, the Founder and designer’s, childhood home in Compton, California. Christopher’s website notes that “Sloan and Bennett represents location and journey traveled through sports, while the cross streets signifies the intersection of timeless simplicity and luxury.“
SLOAN and BENNETT is responsible for the famed Kobe and GiGi Bryant’s tribute sweatshirt that has been seen on people such as Lebron James.
In an interview I asked a series of questions to James Patrick Christopher, Founder and Designer of SLOAN and BENNETT.
DFS: When did you fall in love with fashion ?
Christopher: I fell in love with fashion my sophomore year in college (2008), that summer going into my junior year. I vividly remember going to the Ralph Lauren store in San Francisco on Bond Street. I was wearing a pair of Undefeated NL Dunks, Camo shorts, Vintage Tee and a Yankee fitted cap, I went downstairs to suiting the representative there noticed my shoes and we just start talking sneakers. That guy, who is one of my closest friends Ezra Miranda taught me about suiting, told me to go by the book Dressing The Man by Alan Flusser and study it. That’s exactly what I did, from there I invested in a tailor, subscribed to GQ and I never really looked back.
DFS: What is your design aesthetic? Who is the Sloan and Bennett man ?
Christopher: I actually call myself the Black Ralph Lauren. My design aesthetic has always been a fusion of the classics reimagined with an inherent urban influence. Because I’ve played basketball my entire life there is a subtle sporty dynamic that I’ve always implemented into my style aesthetic. I believe in suiting, I know there is a certain respect associated with a gentleman in a well-tailored suit complimented with the sartorial details. I also know the influence of the black community has in fashion and sports with an innate feel for cool. My brand is cultivating the two, intertwining the foundation of each.
The SLOAN and BENNETT man is simply the one who invests in his wardrobe. That being the pieces that have durability and longevity, almost generational. He is not a trendy guy, although he understands them and is capable of identifying what in, but not necessarily gravitating towards them because the masses are.
DFS: Where do you see your brand being in 5 years ?
Christopher: SLOAN and BENNETT in 5 years will have a global presence and will be a household name. The way the world is headed, I don’t know if having a store front will serve as the proper business model, but with that said I’ve always wanted a store on Rodeo Dr, and in Paris on the Saint Germaine. With the direction my brand has gone in the last 3 months it would probably be wise to have representation in Korea as well. Designing a full collection is in the near future for me and that was always the goal, my plan was to introduce my brand with a key essential and I chose outerwear. Building the infrastructure that Ralph has created with subsidiary brands under the Ralph Lauren umbrella launching women’s, kids, home, RRL, for example is ideal.
DFS: What was your inspiration and mindset when designing your Kobe and Gigi tribute sweatshirt ?
Christopher: My inspiration and mindset when creating the tribute piece was honoring his legacy and their bond. That day changed a lot of people’s lives forever and I wanted to create something that would be a reflection of that, with love. The concept was very simple but it felt powerful. In our hearts forever was the theme and I believe it was something that transitioned right after the 22 Heart Hoodies that I designed.
DFS: What is your thought process when you sit down to design new clothing pieces to add to your collection?
Christopher: It truly varies, when I initially decided I wanted to design, I was in France and I went and got a sketch book (that I still own). I would do my best to sketch my thoughts and conceptualize my design ideas. That book started as notes, and actually jotting a full collection, to becoming my journal. I’ve gone through moments of keeping my ideas in the notes of my phone to know, just storing them in my head. When I need to sketch, I sketch. Ultimately, there is no process, thoughts and concepts just flow.
DFS: Is there anything else you would like me to know about Sloan and Bennett?
Christopher: I have enjoyed each lesson in this process. Each failure has been extremely important to conquering a level and continuing to build. It has taken much longer than expected, but I wouldn’t change any moment of my process. I encourage all designers and entrepreneurs to embrace the adversity of building, love the process of creating and have a team of like-minded people. Have the you, of graphic design, the you of accounting, the you of pattern making and so on.
SLOAN and BENNETT’S attention to detail is refreshing and will catapult this brand to be mentioned with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, etc. SLOAN and BENNETT is the clothing brand to be on the lookout for. The style and elegance the brand brings to the fashion industry is unmatched in comparison to some of the other up and coming menswear brands. Christopher says on his website that “the last thing you put on is the first thing people see”. This statement reiterates my belief that “outerwear/fashion is the cover to the book called you” and that’s just DopeFashionSense!
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